Derek Fawcett

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments
country music
pop rock

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Derek Fawcett has shared stages with Peter Frampton, Ben Folds, America, Lifehouse, Pat Benatar, Colin Hay, Gin Blossoms, Blues Traveler, and backed up Chance the Rapper at Lollapalooza. Across five albums with Down the Line, and three as a soloist, he has toured much of the U.S. and parts of Canada, Europe, and South Africa.

The Chicago Tribune calls Derek’s music "...austere singer-songwriter stuff of surpassing grace." and recent releases “Runnin’ Outta Somedays” and “Sticks & Stones” feature Kevin Joaquin Garcia (Wheatus, Duncan Sheik), Joe Ayoub (Miley Cyrus, Shakira), Brett Farkas (Lord Huron, Rihanna), and Ben Butler (Sting, Lucinda Williams). EDM collaboration “Puppeteer” (Alfons, B3nte, Jessica Chertock, with B3VA) has netted more than 1 million streams globally. Of his performance in Trey Anastasio’s Hands on a Hardbody, Chris Jones wrote: "...Derek Fawcett...give(s) the show its zest and its emotional core."

Fawcett has been recognized for excellence in teaching and several of his students have received DownBeat magazine Student Music Awards. He is an associate professor of singing and songwriting at both Berklee and New York University and hosts The MusicAnswers Podcast: a series of interviews with activists and experts about the rights of music creators. He is a member of both the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and the Association for Popular Music Education (APME) and has presented at both organization’s annual conferences. He holds a Bachelor of Music in jazz studies from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in Songwriting from NYU.

Career Highlights
  • Shared stages with Peter Frampton, Ben Folds, Pat Benatar, America, and Lifehouse, among others
  • Backed up Chance the Rapper at Lollapalooza
  • Studied songwriting at NYU with Phil Galdston, Rosanne Cash, Swagg, and Kevin Killen
  • Recorded Feel Better album in Nashville, produced by Cody Fry and Niko Xidas, bass by Tim Marks (Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, Jewel), featured guitar by Mark Trussell (Maren Morris, Keith Urban)
  • Performances with Kurt Elling and Mark Murphy at Western Michigan University
  • Recognized by Columbia College Chicago for Excellence in Teaching
  • Recipient of the New York University Creative Projects Grant
  • Recipient of the New York University Wasserman Grant
  • Recipient of the New York University Lawrence J. Ferrara Scholarship
  • Co-winner of the DownBeat Student Music Awards Best Jazz Solo Vocal Award
  • M.M., New York University, songwriting
  • B.M., Western Michigan University, jazz studies
In Their Own Words

"All people possess gifts. It's my job to help students bridge the gap between what they know and don't know about their gifts. It's my hope that all students who work with me will walk away with a clearer idea of who they are as musicians, what they still need to figure out about themselves, and where to go next."

"I've been wonderfully fortunate in my professional career and have been able to achieve a great deal of the goals to which my students aspire. As a result, if a student is singing with technique that would be unsustainable across a lengthy tour, I can speak with some authority on that because I've lived it myself. If a song has shortcomings, I can share the tools I use with them because I'm actively using them myself, and I've learned them from some of the best."